14.0557 interoperability? intelligent e-journals?

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: 12/12/00

  • Next message: by way of Willard McCarty: "14.0559 MLA 2000: computer-related sessions"

                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 557.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
       [1]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>         (50)
             Subject: interoperability?
       [2]   From:    Gerry McKiernan <gerrymck@IASTATE.EDU>              (24)
             Subject: Intelligent E-Journals
             Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 09:42:36 +0000
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: interoperability?
    Recently I had occasion to look into the question of "interoperability", in
    the course of which I ran into Paul Miller's essay, "Interoperability: What
    is it and Why should I want it?", Ariadne 24 (June 2000),
    <http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue24/interoperability/>. If I understand him
    correctly, interoperability is the defining quality of networks and
    networking of all sorts. It seems a term of such uncertain limits that it
    can easily mean very little, though actually I think it means a very great
    deal. Can anyone recommend a thoughtful, non-specialist treatment of this
    Meanwhile interoperability prompts a question. I hope you can be patient
    while I stumble my way to it.
    Miller offers by way of definition the statement that "to be interoperable,
    one should actively be engaged in the ongoing process of ensuring that the
    systems, procedures and culture of an organisation are managed in such a
    way as to maximise opportunities for exchange and re-use of information,
    whether internally or externally." Under the political sense of the term he
    observes that "the decision to make resources more widely available has
    implications for the organisations concerned (where this may be seen as a
    loss of control or ownership), their staff (who may not possess the skills
    required to support more complex systems and a newly dispersed user
    community), and the end users." He goes on to say that, "As traditional
    boundaries between institutions and disciplines begin to blur, researchers
    increasingly require access to information from a wide range of sources,
    both within and without their own subject area." Do we always and
    unrestrictedly want this?
    It seems to me that at the technical level it's hard to argue with
    interoperability, though this is no simple matter. If, for example, I want
    to link directly to the online Lewis & Short lexicon at Perseus for the
    definition of a lemma in the reference work I am making, I find that quite
    often what I call a lemma is not one in L&S. This may seem trivial, but it
    isn't, or not always. Considerable editorial intelligence and deep
    knowledge of Latin is behind the choice of lemmata in L&S; I aspire to my
    choices being as good, but driven by different editorial principles they
    will often be different. If in such a small matter we're at an impasse, how
    about bigger ones? Isn't it the case that the mediation between
    incompatible schemes (that are the enemy of interoperability) requires
    other than artificial intelligence?
    I solve the problem with the online L&S by providing a link to the page at
    Perseus where one types in the word and receives an analysis back, so that
    the user of my thing can exercise some judgement -- i.e. knowing that I
    distinguish between singular and plural nominals at the level of the lemma,
    he or she can enter the singular. I wonder if that human intervention isn't
    what we'll always need.
    Dr Willard McCarty / Senior Lecturer /
    Centre for Computing in the Humanities / King's College London /
    Strand / London WC2R 2LS / U.K. /
    +44 (0)20 7848-2784 / ilex.cc.kcl.ac.uk/wlm/
             Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 09:43:33 +0000
             From: Gerry McKiernan <gerrymck@IASTATE.EDU>
             Subject: Intelligent E-Journals
                             _Intelligent E-Journals_
        I am interested in learning  of *any* and *all* e-journals  [or
    e-magazines or e-newsletters or e-newspapers] that monitor the interaction
    of a reader with the publication and based on such implicit behavior(s)
    customizes the publication to match these 'expressed' interests so that the
    reader is provided with (more) content that in similar / related to the
    content that he/she had previously selected/read. [Whew, What a sentence!
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         As Always, Any and All contributions, suggestions, comments, queries,
    Supreme Split Decisions, questions, Cosmic Insights, etc. are Most Welcome.
    /Gerry McKiernan
    Intelligent Librarian
    Iowa State University
    Ames IA 50011
              The commercial service and product mentioned in this posting are for
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